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Business
28 Feb 2019

TikTok illegally collected children's data, slapped with $5.7 million fine

TikTok fined $5.7 million for collecting children's data

TikTok, one of the most famous video-sharing platforms in India, has been caught collecting personal data of children aged under 13, illegally.

The app, which has more than a billion downloads worldwide, has been slapped with a fine of $5.7 million for the practice and will be making immediate changes to its data collection strategy.

Here's more on the issue.

In context

TikTok fined $5.7 million for collecting children's data
TikTok collected personal information without parental consent

Issue

TikTok collected personal information without parental consent

Just recently, Children's Advertising Review Unit, a US-based group, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission reporting TikTok's violation of a federal children's privacy law.

Under the law, dubbed Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), apps/websites are required to take parental consent before allowing children aged 13 or below to access their services.

However, TikTok ignored the law blatantly and collected their data.

Names, emails, other personal data mined

"The operators of Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, knew many children were using the app, but they still failed to seek parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and other personal information from users under the age of 13," FTC chairman Joe Simons stated.

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Fine

Now, TikTok has to pay $5.7 million as fine

In the wake of these accusations and 'thousands of complaints', TikTok has agreed to pay $5.7 million as fine to settle the matter.

Along with fine, the platform has also been ordered to delete the ill-gotten data and set up an age gate to define a clear line between the experiences for children and adults.

Notably, these changes have already started coming into effect.

Restrictions on sharing videos, maintaining profiles

Changes

Restrictions on sharing videos, maintaining profiles

As part of the settlement, TikTok is prompting new and existing users to add their age and making changes accordingly.

The experience for adult users remains unaffected, but those under 13 would be prevented from uploading videos, maintaining profiles, commenting, or messaging on the platform.

Meanwhile, some users have also reported that their accounts and previously-uploaded videos were deleted post adding the age.

Plus, it is seeking government ID proof

Concern

Will this affect TikTok's growth?

All these changes could impact the growth rate of TikTok, which has become pretty popular among youngsters, particularly teenagers.

In India alone, the platform, owned by China's ByteDance, has more than 250 million downloads.

It allows users to create and short-form videos and has even faced flak for featuring content inappropriate for children in the past.

Ask NewsBytes
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Most asked questions

Will TikTok apply these changes in India?

Is TikTok free to download?

Is TikTok available for iOS users?

Is there a web version of TikTok?

More questions

Will TikTok apply these changes in India?

Asked 2019-02-28 13:59:07 by Arnav Gupta

Answered by NewsBytes

As of now, it is not clear if these changes will apply to those using TikTok in India.

Is TikTok free to download?

Asked 2019-02-28 13:59:07 by Dhruv Rodrigues

Answered by NewsBytes

Yes, TikTok is a free short-form video sharing platform.

Is TikTok available for iOS users?

Asked 2019-02-28 13:59:07 by Aditya Pillai

Answered by NewsBytes

Yes, iOS users can download TikTok from Apple's App Store.

Is there a web version of TikTok?

Asked 2019-02-28 13:59:07 by Arjun Sen

Answered by NewsBytes

No, TikTok is only available on Android and iOS.

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